Hadean geodynamics inferred from time-varying 142Nd/144Nd in the early Earth rock record

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Tracking the secular evolution of 142Nd/144Nd anomalies is important towards understanding the crust-mantle dynamics in the early Earth. Excessive scatter in the published data, however, precludes identifying the fine structure of 142Nd/144Nd evolution as the expected variability is on the order of few parts per million. We report ultra-high precision 142Nd/144Nd data for Eoarchean and Palaeoarchean rocks from the Isua Supracrustal Belt (SW Greenland) that show a well-resolved 142Nd/144Nd temporal variability suggesting progressive convective homogenisation of the Hadean Isua depleted mantle. This temporally decreasing 142Nd/144Nd signal provides a direct measure of early mantle dynamics, defining a stirring timescale of <250 Myr consistent with vigorous convective stirring in the early mantle. The 142Nd/144Nd evolution suggests protracted crustal residence times of ~1000-2000 Myr, inconsistent with modern-style plate tectonics in the Archean. In contrast, a stagnant-lid regime punctuated by episodes of mantle overturns accounts for the long life-time estimated here for the Hadean proto-crust.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeochemical Perspectives Letters
Pages (from-to)43-48
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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